Friday, December 25, 2015

Christmas Card 2015

Merry Christmas, everyone!  This year has been jam-packed with change for the Edwards family.  Here’s a quick update—Home alone style.

Kevin McCallister: This is it.  Don’t get scared now.

In January we began making preparations to sell our house in Temple.  We worked with a realtor who made very minimal suggestions on improving the house prior to putting it on the market.  Except for that suggestion that we keep all of the kids’ toys picked up at all times.  That was not a minimal suggestion.  I basically became a Houdini, ‘disappearing’ toys into every laundry basket, crevice in a closet, or hole in the wall every day before leaving for work in case we had a last minute showing.  All this preparation made it even more real that we were really leaving Temple and moving to Abilene. 

Kevin McCallister: No offense, aren't you too old to be afraid?
Marley: You can be too old for a lot of things, but you're never too old to be afraid.

In February Harrison gave us quite a scare.  One day I noticed that the soft spot on his head was swollen out instead of sunken in like it’s supposed to be.  An ER visit, MRI, CT scan, lumbar puncture, and several doctor’s visits later, we found out that he was completely fine.  Harrison handled it all like a champ.  His mommy and daddy, not so much.  (To be fair, Harrison got doped up every time he had a test run, the parents got nothing.)  We’re happy to report that this was only a minor bump in the road, and he’s now a completely happy, walking, babbling, mischievous 1 year old.

Kevin McCallister: [to Santa's helper] This is extremely important. Will you please tell Santa that instead of presents this year, I just want my family back. No toys. Nothing but Peter, Kate, Buzz, Megan, Linnie, and Jeff. And my aunt and my cousins. And if he has time, my Uncle Frank. Okay?

All we wanted for Christmas (in March) was an offer on our house.  It was on the market about 5 weeks when we got a call from our realtor one morning while we were eating breakfast with Grampy and Cindy on the farm.  He said, “We got an offer, and it’s asking price.”  I asked him why he sounded disappointed and he said, “Because you have to be out in 30 days.”  Our realtor knew that Jeffrey had to keep working until June 30, so he was afraid we’d say no to that offer.  I went back into the kitchen to discuss it with Jeffrey and talk about whether we could afford to live in a hotel for a while, but as soon as I said that we had a full priced offer and had to get out early, Grampy cut in and said, “Well, why don’t you live here?”  Right there around the breakfast table the plans were made.  We accepted the offer and planned to move to Grampy’s house the following month.

Linnie McCallister: Listen, Kevin, what are you so worried about? You know Mom's gonna pack your stuff anyway. You're what the French call "les incompetents".

So we started packing in three piles: stuff to go into storage, stuff to Grampy’s, and (because we like to be complicated) stuff to go to Minnesota.  Jeffrey was honored to compete in a national case competition called Clarion following their regional win in Lubbock.  The national meeting was in Minneapolis, so we shuffled the kids off on their grandparents and took a long weekend by ourselves.  The Minnesota trip could not have come at a more inconvenient time (just a week after closing on the house and moving to Grampy’s) but it was so worth it.  We came home refreshed and sporting a second place medal.

Kevin McCallister:  This house is so full of people it makes me sick.  When I grow up and get married, I’m living alone.  I’m living alone!

So there we were, my grandfather, my aunt, my family of four, and our dog, all living under one roof in Rogers, Texas.  And then it started to rain.  And it rained and it rained for almost all of May.  We spent a lot of time under that roof together, the six of us, and we might have gotten on each other’s nerves if we didn’t love each other so much.  But somehow between walks among the giant oak and pecan trees, tractor rides with little boys, and cooking meals together (because there are no fast food restaurants in Rogers!) four generations coexisted and thrived. 
Kevin: This is my house.  I have to protect it.
The little boys and I left Grampy’s in early June to head to Abilene.  I had long before given my notice at work and while we were having a blast on the farm, I felt there were projects waiting for me, namely a house that my parents had purchased intending to rent to college students.  The house was built in 1956 near ACU, and the minute Jeffrey and I saw the pink and black tiled bathroom, we knew we had to live there.  (That decision may have also been influenced by our financial state.)  The house has since gotten new flooring, crown molding, and many other updates, all courtesy of its DIY-crazy renters.  Jeffrey said his final goodbyes to Temple after graduation at the end of June and brought the last car load of stuff to Abilene to join us.   

Kevin: [after patting a healthy amount of aftershave on his freshly-shaven face] AHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

Once we all got to Abilene, life really seemed to speed up.  Jeffrey spent the first few months of his time in his new hometown studying feverishly for his board exam, taking his board exam, and then worrying about whether or not he passed the board exam.  (Spoiler alert: he did.)  Carter watched fireworks for the first time and went to his first candlelight devotional at ACU.  We went on family vacations to Ruidoso and Fort Worth.  Harrison learned to walk and turned one at the end of August.  We hired a full time babysitter for the kids who has become an indispensable part of our family.  I started working for my Uncle Gary at his dental office and Jeffrey started his medical practice with Hendrick Hospital.  Carter turned three in September and decided that he and Harrison would be lions for Halloween.  We tried (unsuccessfully) to convince Carter that the people who came over on the Mayflower were pilgrims, not pirates.  We tried (unsuccessfully) to convince Harrison that Christmas ornaments are to be looked at, not thrown across the room like basketballs.  We tried (unsuccessfully) to install our 9 foot tall artificial Christmas tree below the 8 foot ceilings of our living room.  And yet among all this chaos and change and pastel bathroom tile, we feel supremely blessed have had a home at all times, friends in every city where we’ve lived, and that to date, we have never left either of our children home alone for any significant amount of time.
Merry Christmas to you all, and keep the change, ya filthy animals.